Tuesday, June 11, 2024


Call 'em femmes fatales, gun molls or fallen women, the females of film noir are essential elements of the legendary genre. Sure, there was Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, Lizabeth Scott, Joan Crawford, Peggy Cummings and others, but the film noir actress that tops my list is Gloria Grahame. Sometimes named "The Queen of Noir" the sassy Grahame pouted her way through a slew of films like IN A LONELY PLACE (1950), THE BIG HEAT (1953), HUMAN DESIRE (1954) and THE NAKED ALIBI (1954). She also had a fair share of appearances in horror and sci-fi movies as well: BLOOD AND LACE (1971), MANSION OF THE DOOMED (1976), THE NESTING (1981), and TV guest roles in THE OUTER LIMITS (1964), and TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED (1980/1984). She even was talked into starring in the exploitation film MAMA'S DIRTY GIRLS (1974).

She was born Gloria Grahame Hallward in Los Angeles on Nov. 28, 1923. After her mother mentored her on the craft, she dropped out of Hollywood High School to pursue acting. Her first feature role was in BLONDE FEVER with MGM. Two years later she starred with James Stewart in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. However her talent was deemed lacking by studio execs and she found it difficult to find leading roles and a decade later her acting career was in decline. In the interim, however, she had some great moments in her film noir roles.

Grahame was married four times, enduring custody battles and other scandals that dogged her for years. She was no stranger to the tabloids, either. Besides reportedly being difficult to work with on the set, she underwent electro-shock therapy after a nervous breakdown and after divorcing her husband, she later married her stepson. Plenty of fodder for the papers!

In 1974, she was diagnosed with cancer, but managed to beat it. Unfortunately, it came back and finally succumbed to it on October 5, 1981 at age 57 while she was living in New York City.


Vol. 1 No. 2
December 1951
Avon Periodicals, Inc. (Avon Comics)
Editor: Sol Cohen
Cover: ? (painted cover)
Inside front cover: Everett Raymond Kinstler
Pages: 36
Cover price: 10 cents

"Edna Murray, The Kissing Bandit!"
Script: ?
Art: Sid Check

"Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow"
Script: ?
Art: Ed Goldfarb; Bob Baer

"The Wild Genna Brothers"
Script: ?
Art: Moe Marcus; Martin Rose

"The Case of the Emerald Robbery"
Script: ?
Art: Jack Kamen

Another painted cover from an Avon paperback that I haven't yet been able to identify. Again, no script credits (it leads me to wonder if perhaps these uncredited stories may have been churned out by the editorial staff of Avon's paperback division?). The inside front cover is by the highly underrated artist Everett Raymond Kinstler who later went on to a career in fine art that included commissions for presidential portraits.With the exception of the text story, the content of this issue was reprinted in ALL-TRUE DETECTIVE CASES #4 (Avon, August-September 1954). "The Case of the Emerald Robbery" drawn by soon-to-be EC Comics regular Jack Kamen was re-titled from a Saint detective story, "Saint vs. the Sinners" from THE SAINT #1 (Avon, August 1947) with The Saint renamed Mike Strong.

NOTE: Ads have been removed from this scan.

Gangsters and Gun Molls #2 was reprinted in
this issue of All-True Detective Cases.


  1. When you mentioned Gloria Grahame I wasn't sure I remembered her, but a look at the stills reminded me of her. She is quite a beauty, with a smokey come hither look. There's just a touch of innocence hidden beneath those lashes, but not too much.

  2. One thing for sure, you always knew she was in the scene. A "minor" actress, but remarkable in many of her roles.


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